Readers write, May 10

RETAILING

Tax-free online sales

end up hurting all of us

Allowing online businesses to sell products without incurring a sales tax is a huge advantage for them over “brick and mortar” businesses in Georgia. (Internet merchants) do not incur the cost of operating a retail facility and do not employ local citizens to work in a store, so they have much less payroll expense and no inventory tax to pay in the state.

Online shoppers may get the benefit of slightly lower prices by not paying the sales tax, but these same shoppers are also not reaping the benefits of potentially better highways, schools and other infrastructure programs that could be funded by the extra sales tax revenues.

Those opposed to the online sales tax charge that it is a tax increase. That may be so, but it is certainly a voluntary one — as no one is forced to shop online.

MIKE DEAL, ALPHARETTA

HEALTH CARE

‘Enormous strides’ at

Decatur VA hospital

Regarding “Problems found at Decatur VA hospital” (Metro, May 4), my first exposure to Decatur’s VA facility dates back to 1968, when I was in residency training.

I have witnessed enormous strides in its improvement and can testify to its present high standards of quality care — not only as a physician well-credentialed in hospital inspection, but as a patient. I am confident that all deficiencies will be promptly addressed and corrected.

DR. DOUGLAS C. HUBER, ATLANTA

COMMENTARY

One’s name-calling is

another’s reasoning

A recent letter writer (“Name-calling doesn’t advance an argument,” Readers write, Opinion, May 6) seems to have elected himself Word Police Chief. He has decided that “austerian” is a derogatory term coined by Paul Krugman for the sole purpose of distracting us from the “logical arguments” of conservatives.

Note that Krugman’s piece (“The proof is in: Austerity works, if you’re wealthy,” Opinion, April 27) laid out his own logical argument for why government spending on infrastructure would strengthen our economy right now, and why continued austerity won’t. Note that the writer never actually refutes Krugman, but tries to distract us with an accusation of name-calling. Note that the writer does his own name-calling by referring to those who believe in a “welfare state.”

This writer has nothing to offer.

ROBERT WOLFSON, MARIETTA

ENERGY

Fossil fuels always

pose fire, blast risks

Regarding “Georgia Power blames workers in Bowen blast” (Metro, May 3), where fossil fuels are burned, fires and explosions are always a risk. Wind or solar generation of electricity does not present such risks. This is yet another reason to switch to renewable energy.

DAN MAY, ATLANTA

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